Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD



Office Address
Orthopaedic Oncology
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Yawkey 3700
Boston, MA 02114

Orthopaedic Oncology
Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD Director & Surgeon
Frank X. Pedlow, Jr. MD Surgeon
Kevin Raskin, MD Surgeon
Joseph Schwab, MD Surgeon

Al Ferreira, RN Nurse Coordinator
Anne Fiore, NP Nurse Practitioner

Radiation Oncology
Yen-Lin Chen, MD Radiation Oncologist
Thomas DeLaney, MD Radiation Oncologist
Norbert Liebsch, MD, PhD Radiation Oncologist
Karen Berstien MD Radiation Oncologist

Medical Oncology
Edwin Choy, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist
Scott Plotkin, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist
Gregory Cote, MD Medical Oncologist
Judianne Henderson, NP Nurse Practitioner

Frederick Barker, MD Neurosurgeon
Lawrence Borges, MD Neurosurgeon
William Curry, MD Neurosurgeon

Surgical Oncology
John Mullen, MD Surgeon

Surgical Oncology
John Mullen, MD Surgeon
Alex Haynes, MD Surgeon

Plastic Surgery
William Gerald Austen, MD Plastic Surgeon
Eric Liao, MD, PhD Plastic Surgeon

Susan Kattapuram, MD Radiologist
Daniel Rosenthal, MD Radiologist

G. Petur Nielsen, MD Pathologist

Stacey Gray, MD Otolaryngologist
Eric Holbrook, MD ENT Surgeon
Derrick Lin, MD ENT Surgeon
Benjamin S. Bleier, M.D. ENT Surgeon

Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD Co-Director
Ramnik Xavier, MD Co-Director
Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD
Joseph Schwab, MD Surgeon

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“In chordoma patients of non-skull base who have not had prior treatment our center using aggressive surgical and radiation therapy has not had a local recurrence”  Francis Hornicek M.D., PhD"

Clinical Interests
Benign and Malignant Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors; Metastic Bone Disease, Bone Infections, Metabolic Bone Disease

MD Degree: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
PhD Degree: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC

Postdoctoral Training
Residency: Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL
Fellowship: Orthopaedic Oncology, Harvard Combined Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Licensure and Certification
Diplomat, National Board of Medical Examiners
State of Florida Physician License
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Physician License
Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Hospital and academic Appointments
Chief, Orthopaedic Oncology Service
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School


Click on a title for the PubMed summary.

How Does the Level of Nerve Root Resection in En Bloc Sacrectomy Influence Patient-Reported Outcomes?

Characteristics and Patterns of Metastatic Disease from Chordoma

CSPG4 as a prognostic biomarker in chordoma

Chordoma: an update on the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms

High-dose proton-based radiation therapy in the management of spine chordomas: outcomes and clinicopathological prognostic factors.

Establishment and characterization of a novel chordoma cell line: CH22.

Extended dermal apposition: a simple technique for the closure of irradiated perineal and sacral wounds.

Recurrent chromosomal copy number alterations in sporadic chordomas

Combination of PI3K/mTOR inhibition demonstrates efficacy in human chordoma

Aberrant hyperactivation of akt and Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signaling in sporadic chordomas

Phase II study of high-dose photon/proton radiotherapy in the management of spine sarcomas

Sacral chordomas: Impact of high-dose proton/photon-beam radiation therapy combined with or without surgery for primary versus recurrent tumor

Clinical outcome in chordoma: utility of flow cytometry in DNA determination

Click here for additional PubMed listings for Dr. Hornicek

The Orthopaedic Oncology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital has treated patients with bone and soft tissue tumors for nearly 30 years. Dr. Hornicek joined this internationally-known group ten years ago and is Chief of the Service and Director of the Fellowship Program. He also serves as Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology within the MGH Cancer Center.  This Center is comprised of diversified medical specialists from multiple departments who have come together to provide sarcoma patient care and conduct research.

As an orthopaedic oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Hornicek manages patients of all ages with bone and soft tissue tumors, metastatic bone disease, severe osseous infections, and metabolic bone disease.   The management of these patients is a highly complex undertaking, necessitating a multidisciplinary approach.  The multidisciplinary teams include medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists as well as bone radiologists. This approach to patient care has been a stimulus for a variety of multidisciplinary research endeavors. With radiation oncologists at the MGH, intraoperative methods of irradiation of the dura in patients with primary sarcomas of the spine were developed. Treatment of patients who have advanced bone and soft tissue sarcoma with novel chemotherapeutic drugs is currently underway, and clinical trials in sarcoma have increased over 240% to date from prior years.

The group has also made a number of advances in orthopaedic oncology implant design through cooperation with industry.  In particular, the development of the modular components, stems, and accessories of oncology prostheses has led to continued support for research and for the fellowship by industry.

Dr. Hornicek's research interests have been in both clinical and basic sciences.  His clinical research interests have primarily been in the study of heterotopic ossification, allograft transplantation, immunotherapy, and outcome research for musculoskeletal tumors.  His basic research efforts have focused on a number of aspects of cell biology, and most recently on the molecular biology of sarcomas.  He has recently become interested in the development of new chemotherapeutic drugs isolated from marine organisms for the treatment of sarcomas. Dr. Hornicek's philosophy is that chordoma patients need to be taken care of by a multidisciplinary team experienced in their care.  Few centers of excellence exist where these tumors are rarely treated.  The first effort in management is the best for obtaining a cure.

Dr. Hornicek has been involved with the teaching of orthopaedic residents, general surgery residents, graduate students in the basic sciences, and medical students over the years, including teaching at the Harvard primary care orthopaedic course offered to primary care physicians in New England and the Boston Basic Sciences in Orthopaedics course offered to orthopaedic residents from New England and other regions in the United States, as well as internationally. 

He gives lectures to Harvard medical students on a regular basis. He is also involved in the core curriculum for the Harvard Combined Residency Program as well as giving lectures on tumors and fractures for this course.  He participates in resident education at MGH, teaching all levels of residents on the orthopaedic oncology service.  He serves as fellowship director, working to improve the curriculum, and as a mentor to a new fellow every four months, providing both a clinical and research education to them.

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